PUBLIC SUBMISSION

As of: 1/15/21 12:02 PM
Received: January 15, 2021
Status: Non_Public
Tracking No. kjy-6p17-76h5
Comments Due: January 15, 2021
Submission Type: Web

Docket: FINCEN-2020-0013
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Renewal; Comment Request; Renewal Without Change of Reports of Foreign Financial Accounts Regulations and FinCEN Report 114, Report of Foreign Bank And Financial Accounts

Comment On: FINCEN-2020-0013-0001
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Renewal Without Change of Reports of Foreign Financial Accounts Regulations and FinCEN Report 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

Document: FINCEN-2020-0013-DRAFT-0043
Comment on FR Doc # 2020-25216


Submitter Information

Name: Anonymous Anonymous
Email: sbux1@hotmail.com

General Comment

Thank you for taking the time to hear our concerns.
The FBAR should not be renewed without change. US persons who live abroad have an undue burden in filing the FBAR and the opportunity to change the FBAR process should be taken now. There is a fundamental misconception that US citizens who have chosen to live abroad have done so to avoid US tax liabilities. The majority of us are like our fellow Americans in the US – average citizens. We have relocated for purposes of job opportunity or marriage, and live ordinary lives in our countries of residence. What the Treasury Department deems “foreign” are, for those of us living abroad, simple local accounts used for our daily lives.
Below are some of the adjustments that should be made in the FBAR form/process or comments about certain restrictions/logical fallacies.
1. The threshold of $10,000 is an outdated figure that should be adjusted to account for inflation and should as well as exclude pension/retirement funds. The expectation that a US citizen with a permanent residence overseas would not, over their lifetime, accrue more than $10,000 for their retirement is nonsensical.

2. The estimated reporting burden grossly underestimates the time required to correctly complete the form, especially for those US citizens who have made their permanent homes overseas. These citizens have accumulated various retirement savings/insurance policies, have minor children with accounts for which they have signatory power, as well as the various and sundry accounts a person will accumulate over time for day-to-day living. Delving through those accounts to determine the maximum balance in a year is not a simple or quick task.

3. The penalty for unreported accounts or mistakes made in reported accounts should be proportionate to the size of the potential tax owed. Accidental record-keeping violations result in a fine above $10k which is higher than the fees for not paying the taxes themselves.

4. Bank transfers can cause an illusion of more wealth than actually exists. The maximum balance requirement means that any large sum transfers for the purchase of a home/car, etc could be double or triple counted giving an extremely distorted view of the actual total holdings in a given year.

5. The signature authority reporting requirement also limits employment/volunteer possibilities for US citizens overseas. Organizations are reluctant to provide confidential financial information to a foreign government and thus do not offer opportunities that involve that responsibility to US citizens.

6. The submission of the FBAR online opens filing citizens up to the potential of identity theft. The information transmitted provides identity thieves with everything they need to access accounts. For the US citizens married to foreign citizens, with whom they share accounts, the US is also invading the privacy of a citizen over whom they have no jurisdiction.

There must surely be a way for the Treasury department to continue their fight against tax evasion and overseas money laundering without penalizing the average overseas US citizen.